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About

Education is at the heart of everything we do at the Barnes.

Executive Staff

Thomas Collins

Neubauer Family Executive Director and President

An innovative educator and accomplished art historian, administrator, and author, Thom Collins, a Philadelphia native, has more than 20 years of experience at some of America’s top arts institutions, including the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York; the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore; the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati; the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Collins earned his MA in art history from Northwestern University and his BA with honors in art history and the history of religion from Swarthmore College. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Swarthmore College and is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Art Museum Curators, and the College Art Association.

Nina Diefenbach

Senior Vice President, Deputy Director for Advancement

Nina Diefenbach leads an innovative, strategic advancement program and is responsible for a $100 million capital campaign to enhance educational programs and community engagement initiatives, support operations, and strengthen the endowment. She oversees the fundraising, upper-level membership, and public relations teams, working to maximize and expand the institution’s public profile. She holds an MA in arts management from New York University and a BA from Trinity College.

Steven Brady

Deputy Director for Digital Initiatives and Chief Technology Officer

Steven Brady oversees all digital and information technology, driving efficiencies, synergies, and revenue through technology and bringing digital experiences to life for both in-person and virtual visitors. He has been instrumental in the Barnes’s successful pivot to online learning, including the development of its exclusive, pioneering Visual Experience Platform. He has master’s degrees in computer engineering and technology management from Villanova University.

Will Cary

Chief Operating Officer

Will Cary oversees earned revenue and operations functions, as well as those related to select strategic initiatives, including the forthcoming Calder Gardens. In addition, he plays a leadership role in the measurement and execution of the organization’s strategic plan. He holds a BA in art history and economics from Williams College and is a graduate of the Museum Leadership Institute.

James Claiborne

Deputy Director for Community Engagement

A program and visual arts curator and educator with nearly 20 years of experience in the nonprofit cultural sector, Claiborne works to strengthen the Barnes’s relationships with artistic and programmatic partners in the Philadelphia region and beyond. He is responsible for developing, implementing, and assessing a wide variety of public programs, family programs, and community engagement activities that align with the Barnes’s progressive artistic, educational, and social missions. He also collaborates closely with Sheronda Whitaker, Deputy Director for Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer, to support the design and implementation of DEIA initiatives. In 2023, Claiborne and Nancy Ireson co-curated the Barnes exhibition William Edmondson: A Monumental Vision and Returning to Before—an installation and intervention by visual and movement artist Brendan Fernandes created in response to Edmondson’s work. He holds a BA from the University of Memphis.

Sara Geelan, Esq.

Deputy Director, General Counsel, and Assistant Secretary

Sara Geelan is the chief legal officer of the Barnes Foundation. Her practice concentrates on nonprofit corporate governance; matters related to the foundation’s art collection, exhibitions, publications, charitable giving matters, and intellectual property; and institutional risk-management and responsibility for government relations. She has been counsel to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Modern Art, and practiced in the individual client services department of Schule, Roth & Zabel, LLP in New York. She holds a JD from Columbia University School of Law and a BA from Johns Hopkins University.

Nancy Ireson, PhD

Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions & Gund Family Chief Curator

A noted scholar of late 19th- and early 20th-century European art, Nancy Ireson has held curatorial positions at institutions including Tate Modern, the National Gallery, London, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Exhibitions she has curated or co-curated in her specialist area include  Modigliani Up Close (Barnes, 2022), Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel (Barnes, 2021), Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy  (Tate Modern, 2018), Modigliani (Tate Modern, 2017), Temptation! The Demons of James Ensor (Art Institute of Chicago, 2014), Jane Avril and Toulouse Lautrec: Beyond the Moulin Rouge (Courtauld Gallery, 2011), and Cézanne’s Card Players (Courtauld Gallery, 2010). At the Barnes, she manages the teams responsible for Collections and Exhibitions, including Curatorial, Conservation, Registration, Publications, and Design. Ireson studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she earned a BA in the History of Art, an MA in European Art 1907–1945, and a PhD on the work of Henri Rousseau.

Martha Lucy, PhD

Deputy Director for Research, Interpretation and Education

Martha Lucy oversees the Barnes’s research efforts, working with colleagues across departments to produce new knowledge about the permanent collection and the institution’s history. She also leads all educational endeavors—including adult classes, academic programs, pre-K–12 programs, Art Team, docents, and archives. An art historian specializing in 19th-century French art, she holds a PhD from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.

Maryanne Murphy

Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Treasurer

Maryanne Murphy is responsible for the finance department, overseeing the institution’s budget; financial policies, procedures, and regulatory requirements; and annual audit. She graduated from Drexel University with a BS in accounting and is a certified public accountant (CPA).

Sheronda Whitaker, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Deputy Director for Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer

Sheronda Whitaker leads the Human Resources department and is responsible for the design and execution of effective strategies to fulfill the Barnes’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She collaborates with departments across the institution to ensure the Barnes provides an environment that is welcoming, supportive, and inclusive for all staff, volunteers, visitors, and students. She holds an MS from Villanova University in human resource development and a BS from the University of Louisville.

Board of Trustees

Aileen Roberts

Chair

Aileen Roberts is a philanthropist and civic leader in Philadelphia. For more than 20 years, she has advocated for organizations dedicated to arts and culture, education, health care, and conservation—including as president of the Aileen K. and Brian L. Roberts Foundation, where she supports initiatives that address equity in education. She has been a member of the Barnes's Board of Trustees since 2005 and was elected to serve as Chair in 2020. Roberts has also served on the boards of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute, the Avenue of the Arts, the International House, William Penn Charter School, and Sheriff's Meadow Foundation in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Chair, Executive Committee

John R. Alchin

Vice Chair

John R. Alchin retired as executive vice president and co-chief financial officer at Comcast Corporation in 2008. Before joining Comcast in 1990, he was managing director of Toronto Dominion Bank, and he was active in the founding of the bank’s US Communications Finance Group in 1980. Alchin was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2017. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of Ralph Lauren Corporation and is a trustee on the boards of BNY Mellon Funds Trust and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

David A. Fleischner

Treasurer

David A. Fleischner is an executive vice president and board member at Asplundh Tree Expert LLC. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Fleischner has been involved in Asplundh’s operations in vegetation management, utility construction, and landscape businesses in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand since joining the firm in 1998. Fleischner serves on the boards of St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. In the Philadelphia area, he and his family support many civic and charitable organizations, including MANNA, Mural Arts Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2022, he is also a Trustee Co-Chair of the Ambassadors Board.

Chair, Finance & Audit Committee

The Honorable Jacqueline F. Allen

Secretary

Jacqueline F. Allen served as a judge of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas for more than 25 years before retiring in January 2024. Throughout her distinguished career, she has served the Philadelphia community through several civic and charitable organizations, including the Barnes, to which she was elected a Trustee, and Secretary of the Board, in 2002. She served as chair of the scholarship committee of the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division, Philadelphia Chapter, for 15 years and is on the board of the Presbyterian Community Ministries of the Delaware Valley. Judge Allen is a graduate of Lincoln University and Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Chair, Nominating and Governance Committee

John J. Aglialoro*

John J. Aglialoro was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University. He is an entrepreneur who has owned and operated a variety of public and private businesses throughout the US for over 40 years. He currently serves as chairman and cofounder of UM Holdings Ltd. of Haddonfield, New Jersey, which included Cybex International and EHE International, and is the former mayor of Tavistock Borough in Tavistock, New Jersey. Aglialoro was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2014 and also serves on the boards of the Atlas Society and the Museum of the American Revolution.

Armando I. Bengochea, PhD*

Armando I. Bengochea is senior program officer for Higher Learning and director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) of the Mellon Foundation. Previously an academic dean at Brown University and Connecticut College, he helps oversee Mellon’s higher education grantmaking for faculty development, curricular enhancement and innovation, undergraduate research, and other purposes that improve access to scholarly and other humanities careers. Previously, he headed the Mellon Foundation’s grantmaking program in diversity. Bengochea was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2019. He is also a trustee of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he chairs the principal board committee for faculty and student affairs.

Sheldon M. Bonovitz, Esq.*

Sheldon M. Bonovitz is chairman emeritus of Duane Morris LLP, having stepped down as chairman in 2008 to resume full-time practice. During his tenure as chairman, he led the firm from a regional to a national and international platform. Bonovitz is also chairman emeritus of the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. He was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2005 and also serves as a trustee for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation. Bonovitz is a trustee emeritus of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Philadelphia Orchestra; he was also a long-standing board member of the Free Library Foundation. Bonovitz and his wife, Jill, are avid art collectors. They have made major gifts of art to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which were shown in three exhibitions there; their gift of American outsider art was shown in the 2013 exhibition Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection. Jill Bonovitz is an acclaimed ceramist and wire sculptor with works in museums throughout the world.

Chair, Investment Committee

Pamela D. Bundy*

Pamela D. Bundy is the founder, president, and CEO of Bundy Development Corporation, an urban real estate development firm in Washington, DC. An entrepreneur and former real estate appraiser, she graduated from Lincoln University and currently serves on the board of directors of Lincoln University Foundation of Pennsylvania and the board of advisors of the Lowe Economic Development Corporation. Bundy is also an appointed board member of the Executive Committee of the District of Columbia Building Industry Association. Elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2016, she is also a Trustee Co-Chair of the Ambassadors Board.

Emily A. Cavanagh

Emily A. Cavanagh previously worked for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Thompson Financial, where she specialized in domestic and international tax law. She assisted numerous tax-exempt organizations with incorporation, tax exemption, governance issues, and restructuring, including the YMCA of Rye, New York. Cavanagh is a partner and vice chair of the board of VIA Art Fund and a trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art—where she serves as chair of the prints, drawings, and photographs committee—the Rosenbach, and the Community Partnership School. Cavanagh is a trustee emeritus of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She also previously served on the boards of Publicolor, Let’s Get Ready, Renaissance Society, and the Medical Research Institute of Chicago. She received her BA from Brown University and her JD from Columbia University. She and her husband, Michael J. Cavanagh, president of Comcast Corporation, live in Philadelphia and are parents to three children. She was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2023.

Gregory E. Deavens

Gregory E. Deavens is the president and chief executive officer of Independence Health Group, parent company of Independence Blue Cross. Previously, he served as Independence’s executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer, and held senior financial roles at MassMutual, New York Life, Cigna, and GE Capital. Deavens currently serves as chair of the board of directors of Hartford HealthCare and is engaged in various local civic and charitable activities in Philadelphia, including his service on the boards of the African American Museum and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University. He was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2022.

Jeffrey A. Honickman

Jeffrey A. Honickman is a principal of the Honickman Companies, which includes Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of New York, Pepsi-Cola & National Brand Beverages, Ltd., Canada Dry Delaware Valley Bottling Company, and Canada Dry Potomac Corporation. He currently serves on the board of directors of Comcast Corporation and as a director of the American Beverage Association. Additionally, Honickman serves on the Advisory Council of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2019.

Cathy Hughes

Cathy Hughes is an entrepreneur, radio and television personality, and business executive who founded the media company Radio One—now Urban One—in 1980. When the company went public in 1999, Hughes became the first African American woman to head a publicly traded corporation. Urban One has become an urban radio market leader with more than 60 stations across the country comprising hip-hop, R&B, gospel, and talk radio formats. Hughes’s philanthropy, dedicated to empowering minority communities, includes support of the Piney Woods School in Piney Woods, Mississippi, and service on the Board of Trustees at Creighton University in Omaha. Hughes was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2014.

John H. McFadden, Esq.

John H. McFadden is founder and partner of the international law firm McFadden, Pilkington & Ward LLP. A graduate of Harvard University (BA), Columbia University (MBA), and Fordham University (JD), McFadden has practiced law since 1978. Active with various cultural organizations in Greater Philadelphia, he serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., the Academy of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music. McFadden also serves as a director of the Ongava Game Reserve in Namibia, Africa. He was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2018.

Joseph Neubauer

Joseph Neubauer was chairman of the board of Aramark Corporation, a leading global provider of professional services including food, hospitality, facility, and uniform services, from 1984 until 2015. Neubauer is chairman of the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders. He was formerly chairman of the University of Chicago’s board of trustees and a director of Mondelez International, Verizon Communications, Macy’s, and Tufts University. Recognized throughout his career for civic and professional achievements, he received the prestigious Philadelphia Award in 2012 and the William Penn Award in 2013. In 2023, he and his wife, Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, were awarded the Pennsylvania Society’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement for their commitment to youth, education, community safety, and the arts. Neubauer was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2005 and served as Chair from 2015 through 2020; he continues to serve as a Trustee and as Chair of the Barnes’s Second Century Campaign.

Chair, Advancement Committee

Christine Poggi, PhD*

Christine Poggi is the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Before joining NYU in 2017, she taught for 30 years in the History of Art Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Poggi is a published writer and author, and is currently working on a book addressing the nexus of immigration, border crossing, mapping, and labor in contemporary performance, photography, and film. She was elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees in 2018.

Chair, Program Committee

*Elected to the Barnes’s Board of Trustees upon the nomination of the Trustees of Lincoln University.

Chair Emeritus

  • Bernard C. Watson, PhD

Emeritus Trustees

  • Stephanie Bell-Rose

  • Bruce S. Gordon

  • Agnes Gund

  • Stephen J. Harmelin, Esq.

  • Neil L. Rudenstine, PhD

  • Brenda A. Thompson, PhD

Honorary Trustees

  • Wallis Annenberg

  • Laura T. Buck*

  • Tory Burch

  • Betsy Z. Cohen

  • David Haas

  • Anne F. Hamilton

  • Herbert Kean

  • Marguerite Lenfest

  • James J. Maguire

  • William A. Slaughter, Esq.

  • Joan Thalheimer

  • Bruce E. Toll

  • A. Morris Williams, Jr.

*deceased